This week in ridiculous regulations: Burning trash and methane emissions

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GDP grew at a healthy 3.3 percent in the fourth quarter of 2023. Regulators blocked an airline merger, and a carbon tariff moved one step closer to passage. Agencies issued new regulations ranging from tv blackout reporting to breathing on trains.

 On to the data:

  • Agencies issued 72 final regulations last week, after 45 the previous week.
  • That’s the equivalent of a new regulation every two hours and 20 minutes.
  • With 220 final regulations so far in 2024, agencies are on pace to issue 3,056 final regulations this year.
  • For comparison, there were 3,018 new final regulations in 2023, 3,168 in 2022, and 3,257 in 2021.
  • Agencies issued 32 proposed regulations in the Federal Register last week, after 23 the previous week.
  • With 101 proposed regulations so far in 2024, agencies are on pace to issue 1,403 proposed regulations this year.
  • For comparison, there were 2,102 proposed regulations in 2023, 2,044 in 2022, and 2,094 in 2021.
  • Agencies published 425 notices last week, after 375 notices the previous week.
  • With 1,447 notices so far in 2024, agencies are on pace to issue 20,097 notices this year.
  • For comparison, there were 22,902 notices in 2023, 22,505 in 2022, and 20,018 in 2021.
  • Last week, 1,541 new pages were added to the Federal Register, after 1,620 pages the previous week.
  • The average Federal Register issue in 2024 contains 301 pages.
  • With 5,419 pages so far, the 2024 Federal Register is on pace for 75,264 pages.
  • For comparison, the 2023 Federal Register totals 90,402 pages, the 2022 Federal Register has 80,756 pages, and 2021’s is 74,352 pages. The all-time record adjusted page count (subtracting skips, jumps, and blank pages) is 96,994, set in 2016.
  • Rules with $200 million or more of economic effects in at least one year qualify as major under Section 3(f)(1). This replaces the former economically significant tag for $100 million-plus regulations. There are no such rules so far in 2024.
  • This is on pace for zero 3(f)(1) regulations in 2024. This will change.
  • For comparison, there were 28 3(f)(1) and/or economically significant regulations in 2023, 43 economically significant rules in 2022, and 26 in 2021. Note that these are not apples-to-apples comparisons, since 3(f)(1) and economically significant rules have different thresholds.
  • The total estimated cost of 2024’s 3(f)(1) major regulations is zero, since none have been issued yet.
  • For comparison, the cost tally for 2023’s 3(f)(1) major and economically significant regulations ranges from $62.60 billion to 90.48 billion. Cost estimates for 2022’s economically significant rules range $45.28 billion to $78.05 billion. In 2021, net costs ranged from $13.54 billion to $1992 billion. The exact numbers depend on discount rates and other assumptions.
  • There were four regulations meeting the broader definition of “significant” last week, after five the previous week.
  • So far this year, there are 15 new regulations meeting the broader definition of “significant.” This is on pace for 208 significant regulations in 2024.
  • For comparison, there were 290 such regulations in 2023, 255 in 2022, and 387 in 2021.
  • So far in 2024, 56 new regulations affect small businesses, on pace for 778. Three of them are significant, on pace for 42.
  • For comparison, in 2023 there were 789 regulations affecting small businesses, 79 of them significant. In 2022 there were 912 regulations affecting small businesses, 70 of them significant. 2021’s totals were 912 regulations affecting small businesses, 101 of them significant.

Highlights from last week’s new final regulations:

And from last week’s proposed regulations:

For more data, see Ten Thousand Commandments and follow @10KC and @RegoftheDay on Twitter.